Lifestyle & Belief

Optimism reduces risk of heart attack and stroke, research shows


Optimism and happiness is linked to heart health.


Jamie McDonald

New research shows having a positive outlook on life can protect one's heart.

The Harvard School of Public Health review of more than 200 studies reported in Psychological Bulletin found optimistic people had a reduced risk for heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular events.

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While those with a positive outlook may be generally healthier, the BBC wrote that researchers think a sense of well-being may lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

"The absence of the negative is not the same thing as the presence of the positive," study author Julia Boehm, from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston told CBS News.

Boehm found life satisfaction and happiness appeared to be linked with a reduced risk of heart disease regardless of other factors like age, income and weight.